William Murdock

William Murdock

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: William Murdock. Historical portrait of the British engineer William Murdock (1754-1839). Born in Scotland, he worked in Cornwall, England, setting up coal mine steam engines for Boulton & Watts. In 1784 he developed a small model steam locomotive using high pressure steam, as opposed to steam under atmospheric pressure. However, he was persuaded by Boulton to concentrate on mine engines rather than patent his idea. It was another 20 years before the first steam locomotive was developed. More successful was his heating of coal to produce gas for lighting in buildings. This became widespread in the 19th century and gas was the main heating fuel in the 20th century.

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Keywords: black-and-white, british, coal gas lighting, engineering, historical, history, male, man, murdoch, murdock, portraits, scotsman, scottish, steam engines, surname m, william

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